CHANGES Community Health Project promotes the positive mental health and wellbeing of adults in East Lothian.

Contact us 0131 653 3977

News and Updates

CHANGES Poem 2020

A poem by Christine, a Volunteer with CHANGES Healthy Living Project, summing up 2020.

What’s On

Our Values

Ahead of our AGM we invite your contribution to help us in our work identifying CHANGES core values. We believe that this work is best achieved with the input and collaboration of friends, supporters and participants of CHANGES. To contribute please add three values which you feel are important to our work via this link:

My Experience as a Trainee

Shweta Maheshwari, Trainee Counsellor

Shweta joined CHANGES is December 2019 as a counsellor in training whilst studying a Masters of Counselling in Interpersonal Dialogue at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her training hours remotely after Covid19 lockdown restrictions were imposed in March 2020. Here’s what Shweta has to say about her experience:

” At CHANGES I felt held as a trainee counsellor. In my time here I have come to explore the depths of my theoretical knowledge, extend and work on my therapeutic limits and through that come to know myself more deeply. The independence I was offered as a practitioner helped me trust in my abilities and nurture my newly emergent therapist-self. It has been both, challenging and rewarding, and what I have learnt has formed the core of my independent practice since then”.

We wish Shweta well in her next steps towards a successful career in counselling!

Suicide Prevention Week

Scotland’s #SuicidePreventionWeek starts today. Show your support by using the #TogetherWeCanSaveLives. Let’s all work together to help prevent suicide by talking openly & compassionately about it.

On average 2 people die every day by suicide in Scotland. In the years 2015 to 2018 an average of 6 people died by suicide each year. These are shocking statistics but one we can change. These are not just numbers. They were Family. Friends. Work colleagues. Visit for more info on suicide prevention in Scotland. We can all play a role in preventing suicides. We can all be prepared to help. There is also free online training available here Zero Suicide Alliance.

Cycle Group Restarts

Cycle Group Photo with people standing by their bikes

CHANGES Tuesday Cycling Group Back Up and Cycling!
We are delighted that we’ve been able to get our regular cycling group back out cycling.  It was a lovely sunny morning to kick off these sessions and everyone was so pleased to get out enjoying the fresh air and company.  CHANGES Volunteer Cycle Ride Leaders were also excited to get back out and with the help of the Cycle Maintenance Volunteers, we were able to get everything ready to start.  Everyone is still adhering to the social distancing guidance and hand hygiene. Hand sanitiser, wipes and facecoverings are now part of being in the bike hut, to keep everyone safe.
Many people have returned to cycling over the lockdown period and CHANGES is delighted to be part of encouraging people to get out on their bikes.  For more details of the Beginners Cycling sessions at CHANGES, please get in touch.

Feel Good Walks

Amisfield Walled Garden

Delighted to have East Lothian Feel Good Walks & Social Events up and running again. I’ve thoroughly missed the walks and the members. We’ve been out walking, enjoying some stunning coastal walks down East Coast and also walks around Musselburgh area led by Denis. Recently we visited Amisfield Walled Garden, one of Scotland’s largest walled gardens dating from the 18th century. We enjoyed stunning borders, veg beds, a wild flower meadow, and orchard and woodland planting. Definitely worth a visit. Thank you to Changes for giving us the opportunity to start up these walks again. 

Your Therapy Questions

We are currently offering counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) via video and telephone call. If you would like to know more or request support contact us on 0131 653 3977. With video and telephone we can offer support very quickly.

We are keen to answer any questions, doubts or concerns you have or would have in accessing therapy by video/ telephone. Comment below or write to us at and we’ll put your qs and thoughts to Lucy, our CBT Therapist. Watch this space for Lucy’s responses!

Funding Success

Thanks to our funders and supporters!

We are excited to announce news of recent funding success. We received £10,000 from the Local Authority’s Small Business Grant Scheme. This will support us to continue to provide a high-quality service to the East Lothian community during the COVID-19 crisis.

We have also recently received funding from the Community Wellbeing Fund, Supporting Communities Fund and Foundation Scotland’s Response, Recovery, and Resilience Fund. In April 2020 we succesfully reached our funding target through Aviva Community Crowdfunding.

We are very grateful to our funders and supporters. The money raised will make a huge difference to the lives and wellbeing of those who are struggling at this time.

Our core funding comes from East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership. We are very grateful, not only for thier financial support, but also their approachable, encouraging and flexible approach.

Gentle Exercise on Zoom

We are excited to launch our Gentle Exercise Course on Zoom.

Starting Wednesday 29th July, 2020, at 1.45 pm (8 week course) 

The exercises during these sessions can be carried out either seated or standing.  You can work at your own pace and the sessions cater for people who are unable to take part in more strenuous classes.  The exercises are to music and the classes are run in a relaxed manner. The format for the classes will be 30 minutes of gentle exercise, then a short break followed by 15 minutes of gentle exercise (including gentle stretching and relaxation)

To sign up contact or call 0131 653 3977 between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday.

Healthy Living Project Volunteers Provide Telephone Support

Sad Girl Holding a Mobile Phone

Healthy Living Project Volunteers at CHANGES make a big impact by supporting community members to cope with the isolation of lockdown.

Healthy Living Project Volunteers at CHANGES were unable to continue with their support of the Buddy Walks, Nordic Walking, Feel Good Walks, Cycling and Singing for Fun sessions from the end of March 2020, due to the Covid 19 lockdown. Wishing to continue to offer support, the Volunteers retrained to offer weekly telephone calls to participants who could no longer attend these sessions.

We’re delighted that as lockdown eases that these activities will be up and running again, when it is safe to do so.  We’re currently able to restart the Buddy Walks and Cycling and whilst following Government Guidance, we’re working to reinstate our group sessions again, starting with the outdoor activities.  It’s a credit to the CHANGES Volunteers that they have been so willing to adapt to this crisis and offer alternative support, when it has been so very much needed!

COVID-19 Service Update

We are open and here to support you during these challenging times. Our staff team are currently working from home. You can contact CHANGES by email ( or telephone (0131 653 3977) between 10.00am and 2.00pm Monday to Friday.

We are offering 1-1 Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) by telephone or video call. We will be restarting groups and courses as soon as it is safe to do so and in line with the Scottish Government Guidance. Contact us to receive information about groups and courses as they restart.

Beat The Street

The Beat the Street competition took place from the 11th September to 23rd October 2019, and encouraged East Lothian residents to walk, cycle, run and scoot as far as possible for a chance to score and win prizes. More than 6,000 adults and children joined in the competition and together travelled 71,241 miles – the equivalent of nearly three times around the equator.

CHANGES was delighted to come first on the Charity Leaderboard for Beat the Street.  The winning score came from Volunteers, staff and participants nordic walking, walking, cycling and running.  We’re all delighted to have through being chosen as one of the Charities not only been motivated to be more active but to also win a donation to go towards the work of CHANGES.  Well done everyone who took part on behalf of the project!

CHANGES cyclists helped us ‘beat the street’

Contact us 0131 653 3977 or